Pesto Pad Thai with Grilled Chicken

Comforting rice noodles drenched in this savory Thai-inspired pesto are a delicious idea for dinner tonight.


  • 8 ounces Pad Thai Rice noodles
  • 1/2 cup pasta cooking water
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup no sugar added creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons Hoisin sauce
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil (or olive oil)
  • 2 cups Romaine hearts, chopped
  • 2 cups grilled chicken breast, cubed (about 2 breasts)
  • 2 cups broccoli florets, steamed
  • 1 bunch of asparagus spears (about 2 cups)
  • red pepper flakes, optional

Makes 6


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  2. In a food processor combine basil, cilantro, mint, peanut butter, salt, Hoisin, garlic, ginger and lime juice. Pulse food processor while streaming in avocado oil slowly. Scrape down the sides of the food processor with a spatula then pulse again until well combined. Pour sauce into a large serving bowl or plate with raised sides and set aside.
  3. When water begins boiling, cook rice noodles as per package instructions until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the starchy cooking water. Drain remaining water and add noodles to the serving dish.
  4. Trim the fibrous bottom 1/2 inch off of each asparagus spear. On a grill pan over medium high heat or in a large saute pan, add 1 teaspoon of water and cook asparagus spears for 5-8 minutes or until tender but still bright green. Remove from pan and cut into 1-2 inch lengths.
  5. The broccoli florets can be steamed in a covered pot over medium high heat with about 1/2 inch of water in the bottom. Steam for about 5-7 minutes until tender but still al dente and bright green. Remove lid and remove from the heat.
  6. Add broccoli florets and asparagus to the pasta and gently stir to combine. Add in 1/4-1/2 cup of the pasta water to thin the sauce and coat the pasta and vegetables.
  7. Serve hot with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes if desired.

Tip: Ginger root can be found in the produce section of the market. It is light tan in color with a smooth skin. Peel the tan skin to reveal the yellow flesh. Using a fine cheese grater or ceramic ginger grater, grate the yellow flesh into a pulp. This grated ginger can be formed into a log, wrapped in plastic wrap and kept in the freezer. When you need some fresh ginger simply slice off a length with a knife and add to your dish.

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Nutrition facts

Serves 6

  • calories: 342
  • calories from fat: 92
  • cholesterol: 42mg
  • dietary fiber: 5.0g
  • potassium: 414mg
  • protein: 21.9g
  • saturated fat: 1.9g
  • sodium: 334mg
  • sugars: 4.8g
  • total carbohydrates: 41.1g
  • total fat: 10.2g
  • trans fat: 0.0g
Photograph by Kelly Dabel. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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